tv Newsmakers CSPAN April 3, 2011 10:00am-10:30am EDT
with the "new york times." tomorrow, our guest will talk about the budget debate that continues in earnest this week. it is not just for this fiscal year. it is also about next year's budget. we'll be joined by jennifer griffin from fox news. she will be joined by her husband, greg myre. john della volpe will join us from the harvard institute of politics about the new poll on young people and politics. thank you for being with us on this sunday. enjoy the rest and have a great week ahead.
>> coming up on "newsmakers," representative norman dicks on how to get a compromise spending bill. after that a senate and house hearing on u.s. military involvement in libya with defense secretary robert gates and admiral mike mullen, chairman of the joint chiefs of staff. our coverage on that region continues with deputy secretary of state james steinberg. >> i could say pretty much what i wanted as mayor and the only person that got in trouble was me. >> the current new york city deputy mayor spent eight years as mayor of indianapolis. today, he has a boss, michael bloomberg, and a different job
description. >> i have to try to make the streets a little bit cleaner and a little bit safer and tax dollars go a little bit farther and prove that large cities -- particularly great large cities -- have a really vibrant future and i steer away from things that will detract from that agenda. >> "q&a," tonight at 8:00 on c- span. >> follows c-span on twitter, the fastest way to get programming and scheduling of dates as well as events we cover. you can also join in conversations and tweak question directly to our "washington journal" guests -- tweet questions. get started at twitter.com/c- span. >> "newsmakers" is pleased to welcome representative norman dicks from washington as our guest speaker. he is the lead democrat on the appropriations committee and on its defense said committee. then in congress since 1977.
thank you for being here. before we start with our two guests reporters, let me ask you -- we are sitting less than a week out from the expiration of the latest resolution. how are you handicapping the odds for passage of a compromise at this point? >> i think we will pass a compromise. i do not know whether we can get it done by next friday, but i hope there will be a demonstration between now and, say, wednesday or thursday, that we have come together, that we have an overall number, and that the subcommittees have worked out what should be under those so-called 302b allocations. still not quite together, but it is getting close. >> is that number the $33 billion we have been hearing about? >> i think it will be closed.
everyone said there is no deal until everybody agrees on everything. and these writers are very controversial. a lot of them will have to come out of there is going to be any democratic support for this. >> let me turn to major garrett. >> always great to see you. a couple of questions about libya, but just on the resolution, do you think it is fair to say that if the riders are taken out, the dollar figure could go up a bit higher? many republicans i have talked to believe there is a teeter totters affect your -- 82 totter -- a teeter totter effect here. >> people do not give us any credit. here is talking about $73 billion. that is a lot of money. there may be a relationship there, and there could be. there is going to be some
adjustment on these numbers as they get to the end of the day, but i think that there are a few that can be accepted. one is on the -- how we are going to regulate the populations in idaho, montana, and wyoming. that one has some environmental support. it is probably the right thing to do. one or two of these or several can be accepted. again, some of these are very controversial. you know, planned parenthood. that has become a national issue here. i would not bet on much of an increase over seven to $3 billion. >> very good. on to libya. are you satisfied with what the president said on monday, when you heard from secretary kids, secretary clinton? do you believe this is the right policy for the united states? do you foresee an end game for
the future? >> like everyone else, we would have liked to have more prior consultation. i was on the phone call, and i thought the president clearly explained -- and as former speaker pelosi, now our lead democratic leaders said, no one said do not do it. i think there is confusion when the president says getting gaddafi out would be the right thing to do, but we are not going to use means in order to get him out. i think people have a hard time understanding that. there is some confusion because of that. so far, i think they have done this very well. i just hope that we are not pulling back the u.s. forces to soon because the last few days, the rebels have had a hard time because there has been bad weather and they have not been able to get as much support from
the coalition. turning this over to nato -- that is fine. nato can do this. but the u.s. is a big part of nato. i hope we continue -- i think also having the cia involved -- it is in the papers now. this is not disclosing anything. to try to find out who these people are. i think that vetting process is very important so we know we are dealing with. >> do you have anxiety about who we are dealing with? >> think about afghanistan when we were helping the same people, probably, go against the soviet union at that time. i am worried a little bit about al qaeda influence, but i think we have to sort that out theory of we will find out who these
people our age, and, hopefully, -- we will find know who these people are, and, hopefully, we can get this transition group. i think we can work with them and get a better understanding how these people are. >> think back on this budget bill. it is one thing to reach an agreement, which you are working towards. it is another thing to pass it. the speaker has made it very clear that he wants to do a bill that can get 218 republicans. that is his goal. on the other hand, he may not be able to do that if it is in the region have been talking about. can you talk about the conundrum that the speaker is in? will democratic votes be needed? will your vote be there, do you think? >> it depends. obviously, i like the defense portion of this bill. has been put together on a bipartisan basis, said this is a real defense bill.
i like the defense part of it, but it is going to all depend on the riders and the sensitive programs, things like the veterans' programs and head start and some of these things that i think deal with the social safety net of this country. if we can work out some of those things, get the numbers down, i think there will be people in our caucus who can vote for this. but there has to be a good package put together, and that may be a problem for the speaker. the speaker -- when you are the leader, you have to put together the 218 votes every single day. this could be a challenge. i hope that this could look reasonable. i do not want to see the
government shut down. i have not made up my mind because i want to see in what happens on this very sensitive domestic programs before i decide. and the riders will affect -- some of those riders like planned parenthood would be a big problem for me. >> are you concerned that the white house has not been very active in messaging this bill? there are a lot of things in it that people think are unworkable. some of the things you are talking about the seem overly harsh, but the white house has not been talking a lot of specifics about this. are you frustrated by that? >> i wish they would be a little more on target here, but you have to remember, this would be a thing came up, and it has really dominated the news for the last week. i wish they could do more. i wish they would talk more about the pain that will because, and the most important thing beyond that, and these programs are important, is that
this will not work economically -- you have call krugman -- paul krugman, all the best economists in the country saying that by cutting spending, all you are going to do is increase the deficit. they are doing exactly the wrong thing at the wrong time. this is basic keynesian economics. even though the stimulus was very active -- very controversial, we would have 12% unemployment today if we have not done that stimulus package. and the tax cuts help as well. that is basic keynesian economics. what do you do when you have an economic problem? you cut taxes and increase spending. when you see what is happening at the state, that is $125 billion to $150 billion. and when we cut here, that adds to it. fuel prices make it harder for people to have consumer purchasing power. i think they are doing the wrong thing from an economic
perspective. most of the economists i talk to say the cuts in 2013, and maybe you do it in 2012, and 2013 is the first year they should go into effect. but these people have just got tunnel vision here, and they are not looking at the economic evidence. i think what they are going to do is going to have a negative effect, and that is not what they intend. >> and yet, the die appears to be cast. i just want to make sure people understand that $40 billion of the $73 billion is accepting a freeze from 20 billion -- from 2011. >> basically, how i explain it is when the democrats were in charge, when we did the continuing resolution, we were $40 billion below the president's budget request for 2011.
now, the other side wants $1 billion or $2 billion. that is what they think is necessary. i think the republican leadership has got to explain that you do not want to shut down the government. i think republicans will get blamed because i think people look at these cuts and think they are too extreme. you go right down aligned on these education and housing and community service grants for the course of the poor people. the environmental issues are too extreme. -- the poorest of the poor people. i think republicans will wind up getting blamed if they do not compromise. i think boehner wants to compromise, but the question is -- does he have the votes? in that case, is this a reasonable outcome? the blue dogs might cross over and vote for this, and some other moderate democrats, but
there has been no attempt that i know of at any kind of a deal. i think boehner realizes that he has got to play this straight until right at the very end, and then he has to make a decision. >> let me ask what is going on with these riders. harry reid was signaling his willingness to talk about the, and people made it clear that it would be some of the environment stuff. one of my colleagues ran into a house democrat i cannot name, but he said the epa is not going to be happy. but just now, majority leader harry reid said there would be no epa riders whatsoever and said the white house assured him of that. >> i have no idea how this will come out. i believe that in order to get a bill passed and get any democratic support, most of these riders are going to have to go because they are too controversial. as i said, on the great work, we
can do that one. that has been worked out with the environmental team, but the others need to be worked out. >> boehner's people said there has to be more than that. are we facing a catch-22 where a bill that can get republican support cannot be signed by the president but a bill that would be signed by the president will let get enough support? >> i hope not. i do not want to see the government shut down. i think it will be difficult to get people to vote for another continuing resolution unless they are confident that an agreement is in place and we just need a couple more days to finish. >> do you think that is a likely scenario? >> i am always an optimist. i am doing everything i can to help al rogers on this as best i can. he obviously is working on this 302b allocation, and that is
still a work in progress, but i hope over this weekend, we will see significant progress made. >> you said republicans would be blamed if there is a shutdown. i was monitoring a panel this week, and howard dean said if he were at the dnc right now, putting his old chairman's had on, he would be quietly rooting for a government shutdown. he said he thinks republicans would get blamed and if he were a democrat, he would want to root for a shutdown. >> this is the worst possible outcome. here we are in two wars and a very major involvement in libya. our intelligence community, all of these people will be adversely affected. troops in the field will not get paid. how can we possibly do this in the middle of all this military controversial -- we have the troops deployed. i think it would be the height of their responsibility not to -- to continue to keep the
government funded. >> speaking of libya and financing it, have you gotten any word at all, any indication that a supplemental might be needed for this will all be done within the confines of the existing allocations of the been done? >> it appears to be that there is an argument about this. normally the white house and omb wins these arguments, but what we have been told is that they want to take money from other things. i think that is the right way to do it. i think you can do that. we could have cut another $5 billion out of defense without doing any damage to anything. there are so many things that are pots of money that they have that they simply cannot -- they do not utilize. and then they use it for reprogramming. that is why they want to have it replaced. so they can then use it for reprogramming. just like we did on this
intelligence surveillance reconnaissance fact that we just sent to afghanistan. my view is that gates is still fighting a back channel fight to try to get some of that money replaced, but i do not think that will happen. >> on the fight you just mentioned, is that from the defense bill you are doing in december? is that what you're saying? >> 515 is the number that i use. obama 1530. we went down to 515. i think we could have gone another five -- >> is the you were pushing in these negotiations? >> no, i am with my chairman, but i'm just saying, when i was chairman and bill young was my ranking member, we could have
cut more money out of defense without doing any damage to anything. >> secondarily, there's this parochial issue that the speaker cares about with this alternative engine. what is the outcome of that? >> it went down on the house with a lot of new tea party voters. i think it is out. i had supported it up until this year, but i decided when we're doing our budget for last year, they told me that they would veto this if that is in there. that would be a much harder thing to do in the midst of this mess we are in, but -- >> was the vote significant? a minor turning point in defense funding in this country? he had the project in his own district. >> he did not lift a finger as far as i can see.
how can you do this when you say we are stopping all earmarks everywhere, but except we are going to have the speaker but when i appeared with the secretary of defense says they do not want it, the president will veto the bill? i think he was in an impossible position and the only thing he could do. i hope this is the right decision. i'm a big advocate for competition, and i was on the defense subcommittee when we did the two engines on the f-16. that worked out pretty well and kept prices down. there was competition. but one other thing was the navy. the navy said they did not want different engines on their aircraft carriers. that meant a lot to me. >> you mentioned earmarks. i had a conversation with chairman rogers, and i said that it seemed there was still be congressionally directed or influenced or drafted spending,
and i do not see how congress simply hands over a constitutionally established power to the executive branch. he says yes, there is. i asked what they would call it, and he said we do not know, but there will be means by which congress uses its established powers to involve itself directly in the appropriations process. do you agree? and this is a ban on your marks that is largely semantic and not actually practical -- a ban on earmarks that is largely semantic? >> this is real. i have been here for 30 years. before, everything was done competitively. i do not think we are going to see earmarks in the near future as long as we have these large deficits. the american people, i think, want us to make some sacrifice. i think it is wrong, personally, that we cannot help our districts. what democrats did was we put in
a limitation that said private companies cannot receive earmarks, but you still can help your community colleges, local governments, your state, the nonprofits that are doing important work. they have said completely gone. there is a distinction here. and earmark is something that goes to somebody specific district without competition. you could have a pot of money, state and epa, for waste-water treatment plants. just say we want it to be competitively awarded to the communities that need it most. that is one thing. but i did in defense -- i created a new pot of money in the small business innovation and research. i expanded money said the businesses could go there and compete for funding. the business community, a large part of it really like it. the lobbyists do not like it because they did not see how
they are going to -- but that is not what we are worried about. we try to make sure we take important programs and do it in a competitive way. >> your defense bill was one of the main reasons there was this cottage industry in washington on earmarks. a lot of them went to private companies. lobbyists and executives for those companies would give money to members of congress, and it was this whole sort of feeding frenzy, frankly. it looked bad. now it has stopped. can you talk about that? >> the democrats stop it in the house of representatives when we said no earmarks to private companies. before that, mr. murtha was still involved here we have to do that on a competitive basis. that was the better approach. they have it totally out there on the internet what the request
is, and you are limited. we get at this campaign contribution issue, which was clearly a problem. so i think we had a much better approach to this. but remember, congress can still unleash major programs. we can still add an increase or decrease money on that. congress still has the right to deal with all these national programs. it is when it is a specific appropriation that goes directly to somebody's district -- that is when there is a problem. >> right, and there is obviously no constitutional protection for that. >> just like the tanker issue. we just had this victory in our great state of washington, and the three rounds finally went to tanker, and that is something i care a lot about, but it is not
an earmark. it is a national program that was in the president's budget. i want people to understand what we're talking about when we talk about earmarks. >> we talked about the political landscape for the house. republicans now have a big advantage in the redistricting key states. you lost a lot of members who were holding onto republican districts. >> there has been more money coming in to the dccc in the last few months than ever in history. nancy pelosi is going around the country raising money. people are worried about what the republicans are doing. first of all, they thought they were going to come here and to job creation, which they have not done, and now, they see all these budgetary cuts that affect the social fabric of this country, the lowest income people in this country, and i
think people are deeply concerned about this. i actually am very optimistic. i think democrats have a very good chance -- i am always an optimist. i think there is a good chance democrats could take back the house. this is not going to work. these people are going to have some responsibilities and, hopefully, the economy is strong enough to overcome it. >> as a practical matter, many races were very tight. do you expect many rematches? >> i cannot think of all the names, but the number of former members going to run again. i would not get to that number, though as you mentioned three or four or five people at this
point. but i think what they are doing is wrong, and i think people are worried about it. i think women in this country with this planned parenthood cut are also up in arms, and women were one group -- essentially older women -- last time the switch. the other thing is that independent voters are critical. when we won the house back in 2006, we got 55% of independents. when they won in 2010, they got 55% of independents. now it comes down to where those independent voters go, where those women go, and i think we have a chance. and when their budget comes out, that will also create some interest around the country. >> thank you for being here. "newsmakers" is back with andrew taylor, the associated press, and major garrett. we just had a lively session
with congressman norman dicks, ranking democrat on the appropriations committee. he is pretty optimistic about a deal for the continuing resolution and called the shutdown of the government the worst possible outcome. the incoming house republicans think it is the worst possible outcome? do the democrats think it is the worst possible outcome? faction on both sides of the house that would like to see a shutdown play itself out, that would like to elevate the status of this battle. i think there are those freshmen republicans who say they campaigned to be aggressive about cutting federal spending. i know we only have limited lever in house majority, do not have a senate majority, do not have the president, but if we do not try our absolute best at the front end of this confrontation, then we will be back pedaling the entire way of this congress. that is their mind-set. that is their belief.
until that is significantly altered either by harsh legislative realities or gentle persuasion or maybe not so gentle persuasion from speaker john boehner, that will be intractable -- they will be intractable. elf was the speaker to look for democratic votes, and that will make this all the more difficult. >> it is one thing to win a midterm election and if the president of the united states. it is another to defeat him in a legislative battle when he has a veto pen and all the powers of his office. i think the house republicans do not want to shut down because then what? what do you do then? speaker boehner does not want to shut down because weight as the leverage come from after that? it really looks like there is a high-pressure game on. mr. dix was very optimistic, but he operates in a world of the appropriate --r.